Corona-Finance: Self Isolating

Corona-Finance: Self-Isolation (& Wellbeing)

I have the kids off school and no money. We are going crazy in the house, we don’t have a garden – none of us are ill. We tried to go to the park but it’s small and everyone had the same idea and the kids just all want to go on the swings and slides so we had to bail. Is anything else open?

Currently, the National Trust has now closed all of its car parks and gated gardens, as well as the cafes and houses.  Car parks are open only to key workers with a permit.

Please check if there is a place near to you and if they are open as things are changing rapidly. You must not have symptoms and maintain social distancing.

Read more: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/press-release/the-national-trusts-latest-statement-on-coronavirus-covid-19.

There are lots of resources online that are free – a good place to look is Twinkl, which has a home learning support page, weekly planners and a mountain of printouts and ideas. https://www.twinkl.co.uk/

You can also check out Mumsnet for a list of other free resources and links: https://www.mumsnet.com/swearsby/best-online-learning-resources#free-resources

Many childrens’ authors and illustrators are running online drawing, story writing and poetry tutorials for free on Youtube, and if you need to wear them out, Joe Wicks is running a youtube exercise class for kids (and adults!) every school day morning at 9am https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAxW1XT0iEJo0TYlRfn6rYQ

I don’t feel safe. Can I just tell my employer I’ll take this time off and claim the 80% of my wages from the government?

As staff, we don’t get to choose if we stay off or not unless we’re ill or self-isolating. The government promise of covering 80 per cent of wages is only where there is no work for people to do (because they cannot do their job from home), where that would otherwise mean our employer would make us redundant.

There’s a term many of us had not heard before, ‘furloughing’, which is where our job is retained but we’re asked not to work for a period. Most employers will keep paying us our full salary and, unless our employment contract allows for it (which is unlikely in most standard contracts), an employer needs to ask us first if they only want to pay us the 80 per cent of our wages covered by government.

But if we’re expected and able to work from home, or in the workplace if we’re a key worker, we don’t have the option of stopping work – unless we choose to quit. The government subsidy will only go to the employer. We cannot claim it ourselves.

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